As the debate in Congress continues on the U.S. Healthcare system and funding a public program, the cost of healthcare continues to rise. Consumers are continuing to pay higher and higher prices for their care. In a book released by medical journalist Elizabeth Rosenthal, American Sickness, she explained to NPR why the price of healthcare is now so high. So far President Trump has failed to deliver on his promise to reform the U.S. healthcare system.

There is no incentive to cure disease

Rosenthal pointed to several reasons why there's no incentive to cure patients under the current healthcare system.

One of the most important reasons is that drug manufacturers make a lot more money on medications that maintain conditions than they would if they were providing cures. Lifetime treatment is better than creating a cure for a disease.

Hospitals started banding together to provide more efficiency too. The end result was that they created mini-monopolies instead. The healthcare industry sets the prices for procedures too, and they often charge as much as they think that the market will bear. Instead of generic drugs being priced significantly less than their name brand counterparts, they often cost only about 10 percent less, which really doesn't make them that big of a bargain at all.

Rosenthal said that the best thing that patients can do is to ask their doctors a lot of questions before having any procedures done.

Consumers need to be savvy about what they are paying for and actually find out the cost of their care. It may require the doctor to create different requisitions. For the savvy consumer though, this can mean significant savings.

Tips for saving money when purchasing healthcare

In a recent interview with Rosenthal, who was also a medical doctor, ABC News talked to Wanda Wickizer, 51, from Virginia, about the nightmare she suffered when her husband died, and she lost her health insurance.

Wickizer ended up with over $50,000 in medical bills after a blood vessel in her brain burst, and she had to spend 15 days in the hospital for her treatment.

Rosenthal said that patients often don't assert their needs when getting medical treatment and that patients need to take control of their healthcare when they're getting treatment because it's their money.

She offered a series of questions in her book that patients can ask doctors before receiving treatment. Asking these questions could result in significant savings.

Some other suggestions Rosenthal offered included consumers educating themselves on what the actual bill should look like. She cited several templates consumers can use to get the information they need so they can reduce the cost of their treatment. In Wickizier's case, she contested the price of her medical bills and was eventually able to reach a settlement and pay an amount she considered to be fairer. As the debate continues on the rising cost of care, the problem often remains the same or worse.